Out of the Frying Pan

Posted in Motivational, Relationships, Spiritual

Out of the Frying Pan dan skognes insurance investments finance motivation blogger speaker entrepreneur telemedicine cadr teledoc (259x194)

 
You have probably heard the saying “He jumped out of the frying pan in to the fire.” It means making a bad decision when you are under stress. It means making a bad situation even worse. How do we keep from jumping into the fire when the heat is getting turned up on us?

First of all, you have to expect to be in the frying pan from time to time. That is a part of life for all of us. It may be a financial situation, a health situation, or a relationship gone sideways…but it happens to everyone at various points of our lives. How do you prepare for news that you now have cancer and are not expected to live? How do you handle news your spouse has been unfaithful and is leaving you? How do you handle that realization that you are in debt so deep that it will take a miracle to keep from going under?

Here is the simple truth. Everything that happens to you is not your fault. Much of it may be your fault, but bad things happen to good people too. The problem is that it is still your problem regardless of whose fault it is! That makes you responsible whether you like it or not. You are responsible for how you react to it. How do you play the cards you have been dealt?

Suicide has become epidemic among young and old alike. How tragic is that? Young people who have everything to live for are so despondent with life that they can’t bear to face one more day. Or maybe just as tragic is the older person who has been so beat up with life that they just can’t take any more of it. The true tragedy here is that the problems we face most of the time are not fatal. They are not the end of the world even though we may have convinced ourselves that it is ending. The truth is, tomorrow is another day, and what a difference a day makes!

When you are emotionally drained and just feel like you can’t take anymore, do this:

1. Get some rest. Never make a major decision when you are exhausted.
2. Get some wise counsel. Talk to your spouse, a trusted friend, a Pastor….someone who is not emotionally engaged that can speak truth to you and help you look at the big picture. Just make sure the counsel you get is from someone who is emotionally and spiritually mature.
3. Get grounded in God’s Word. I have found the Bible to be such a great source of comfort when the heat is turned up.
4. Get the right perspective. Most of the time, “this too shall pass” is true. Even people that have been diagnosed with a terminal disease have been healed before. It can happen to you too.
5. Get hold of your hope and don’t let go. Faith in God and faith in yourself go a long way in helping you face another day.
6. Get out of the mindset that this is the way it is always going to be. Things change, and they can change dramatically in a positive way. Start looking at the glass as half full. Be thankful for the blessings that you do have.
7. Pray. Prayer does change things. Don’t wait till the wheels come off to pray. God is there 24/7, 365 days a year. You will never get a busy signal or an answering machine. He cares about you and the problems you are facing.

When silver is made, it is heated up to get rid of the impurities. The silversmith knows the silver is ready when he can see his reflection in it. Perhaps what you are going through is God getting ready to use you for something beautiful…something that will reflect Him.

It is never fun to be in the frying pan, but keep it in perspective and don’t lose hope. What you are becoming through this can be not only something good for you, but also something to encourage others that are going through the same thing. Reflecting Christ is worth the process.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes
www.danskognes.com

The Potter and the Clay

Posted in Motivational, Spiritual

The Potter and the Clay dan skognes insurance investments finance motivation blogger speaker entrepreneur cadr telemedicine (320x240)

Life is full of amazing things, but none quite so amazing as when we comprehend the word “grace.”  How is it that we can make so many mistakes in life, and yet God is able to still use us for His glory and His purposes?  How is that even possible?  How does God use messed up people?

Simply put….it is His amazing grace.  He takes people that are broken and puts them back on the potter’s wheel.  Once we have been broken, then he is able to remold us into something useful, something beautiful….something that reflects Him.  That takes us submitting ourselves to His will and being willing to be broken and remade.

It is not without pain and suffering to be broken.  When you are at the end of yourself, it can be scary.  It can be downright painful.  We tend to want to be in control, and yet the truth is, there is very little that we can control in this life.  I used to think that the remote control was the only thing I really had control over…then the battery went out!

Grace is something we don’t deserve, and I am glad that God gives us grace, not what we deserve.  We deserve judgment.  We deserve punishment…but God gave His Son so that we could experience His grace.

If you are at the end of your rope, frustrated and wondering how anything good will ever come out of your life (or maybe you know someone that fits that mold), take heart and think about these truths:

  • All things work together for good to those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28.
  • My God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19.
  • My grace is sufficient for you. 2 Corinthians 12:9.
  • The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases.  His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness.  Lamentations 3:22-23.
  • The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.  You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God.  Psalm 51:17.
  • I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to proper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a future and a hope.  Jeremiah 29:11.
  • The Lord is my strength and my shield.  I will trust Him with all my heart.  He helps me, and my heart is filled with Joy.  I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.  Psalm 28:7.
  • Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”  Then I said, “Here am I, send me!”  Isaiah 6:8.
  • The mountains melt like wax at the presence of the Lord. Psalm 97:5.

God’s grace is truly amazing. Once you grasp that, things come into focus. Everything begins to make sense.  All of the problems, trials, and tribulations seem to be put in perspective.  Your mountains can melt like wax in His presence. His grace really is sufficient.  When we submit our will to His, then, and only then can we experience the grace He alone can give, and that is what helps us make sense of this crazy world we are in. Our purpose is found in His grace.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

What Are Your Mountains?

Posted in Motivational, Relationships

What Are Your Mountains dan skognes insurance finance investments motivation blogger speaker entrepreneur telemedicine cadr (320x240)

Everybody has mountains in their lives.  Sometimes they are real, and sometimes they are imagined.  If you were a mountain climber and we were talking about your recent climb of Mt. Everest, now THAT is a mountain.  Nobody would dispute that fact.

The problem with most of us is that our mountains…even the imagined ones, are real to US.  One of our daughters called on the phone some time ago and she was in tears.  She was sobbing so hard we could hardly understand her.  She was talking about her trip to the dentist and how he had shaved her front teeth to straighten them, and now there was this HUGE gap between her teeth.  She was NEVER going to be able to smile again.  I was having a mental image of the Grand Canyon.

We calmed her down on the phone and told her to come on over.  We wanted to see for ourselves what this knucklehead dentist had done to our daughter.  When she came in, she was still crying and very upset.  We finally got her to smile for us.  Good Lord, it was beautiful!  This “Grand Canyon” between her teeth made her smile beautiful.  It was perfect.  All that drama for nothing.  She finally accepted the fact that we were telling her the truth and her smile was fine.

Principle 1.  Mountains we face are real to us.  It does not matter if others see it or not.  We have to come to grips with the mountains we face and climb them.

Principle 2.  Ignoring mountains does not make them go away.  If you have an obstacle in your path, whether it is in your relationships, in your finances, your business, or whatever, you have to deal with it.

Principle 3.  Manage your mountains, or your mountains will manage you.  Years ago (before I married my wife) she was going through a depression, dealing with the death of her husband.  She came to the conclusion, “I can lay here and die, or I can get up and try.”  I am glad she decided on the latter.  Sometimes all we can do for a day is to try, to take one step.  If it is a positive step, make yourself take it!

Principle 4.  Some mountains are molehills.  Admit it.  When you find yourself blowing it into something bigger than it is, take a deep breath and ask someone who is not emotionally charged to look at it.  If you have a tendency to blow things out of proportion anyway, don’t trust your own instincts.  Ask for help from a professional if necessary.  Panic attacks are a very real disorder, but treatable.  Just don’t cause everyone else to panic when you have yours.

So, what mountains are you facing today?  Are they real or imagined?  Are you managing them, or are they managing you?  My hope for you today is that you take at least one positive step in climbing your mountains.  The view at the top is AWESOME!

P.S.  When you come into agreement with God’s grace, mountains move.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes

The Vision of Two Stones

Posted in Motivational, Spiritual

The Vision of Two Stones dan skognes insurance finance investments motivation blogger speaker entrepreneur telemedicine cadr (259x194)

I have a vision of two stones.  They are constantly changing size.  One is flat and one is more rounded with sharp edges.  As one grows in size, the other one grows smaller.

The flat stone represents my faith, and the rounded one represents my problems.  It seems that the only way to diminish the size of my problems is to increase my faith, and my faith requires action.  It demands that I move towards and face my problems head on.

Funny how when we confront our problems, they often are not as big as we thought they were.  Sometimes, however, they are giants that have to be slain, and the only way to slay them is to be fearless…and that takes faith, preparation, and action.

If our faith is large enough, we can move mountains.  In fact, in only takes faith the size of a mustard seed (which is one of the smallest seeds on earth) to move an entire mountain.  If that is true, then why do we not move mountains?  Why do we allow the problems of life to become mountains which is some instances are even life threatening? We allow them to become more than stumbling blocks.  We allow them to become Mt. Everest, and we are trying to scale it alone, with no support, no equipment, and improper training.

I think it boils down to two things.  One is lack of trust.  We don’t believe that God is going to come through for us and help us through the crisis (even though He has done so countless times in the past).  The second one is fear.  We allow fear to paralyze us from moving forward.  Doing nothing in a crisis makes no sense at all, and yet that is what many people do because of fear of the unknown.

To fear less, we have to become fearless.  We have to take a step of faith in some direction.  Waiting on God does not mean being lazy.  It does not mean sitting and doing nothing.  We still have to move.  We still have to work.  Waiting on God really means hearing God.  The problem is not God’s.  He is waiting on US to do something.  When we move and seek His face, His wisdom, His peace, His direction, and His strength, then and only then will we see His direction and his deliverance.

To stand in faith is active and always moving forward.  When we retreat in fear, our faith abandons us and we are at the mercy of our problems.  Let’s put our fears aside, put our faith in action, and tackle life with a fresh focus and vigor.  When we do that, mountains will move, darkness will flee, and bonds will be broken.

Without faith, it is impossible to ever please God, and faith without action is just empty words.  Let go of your fear, and let God move the mountains you face today.  Quit trying to move them yourselves. Only God is big enough, and you and I are not God.

Shalom!

Dan Skognes